Nordic Bits for Everyone!

NORDIC BITS FOR EVERYONE

Alpine, Snowboard or Telemark Instructor? Mix it Up.

One of the benefits of PSIA-AASI being a large umbrella organization for snow sports instruction is that you can obtain clinic credits required for continued education in disciplines besides your primary one. If you still need the educational credits, come play with the Nords this April during the Spring Fling.

Alpine, telemark or snowboard instructors can expand their repertoire of skills and sources of income by also becoming cross-country (XC) ski instructors. There has been a significant increase in cross-country skiing, both in terms of sport participation and lessons taken, so now is the time to jump at the opportunity to carve your space in the world of cross-country ski instruction.  

You already have the teaching and people skills; you’d just add a set of additional technical skills. For cross-country skiing you’d learn techniques for propulsion (no lifts); the gliding, turning and stopping skills would be the same as in downhill skiing.  If you are completely new to cross-country skiing, connect with a ski school director or trainer of a PSIA-affiliated ski area/Nordic center for mentoring. 

If you are not interested in becoming a cross-country ski instructor, consider the fun aspects of learning how to glide and move on skinny skis. Being a member of PSIA-AASI gives you access to some of the best ski instructors. Cross-country skiing offers something for everyone and many skills developed learning it  will have application in your downhill skiing, Alpine touring or riding. And if you are a snowboarder, you may be joining the pioneers of cross-country snowboarding. Just make sure you switch it up so you don’t get the skootch leg. (search YouTube for cross-country snowboarding and skootch leg)

Cross-Country Skiing with the Western Flare!

If you have never skied on the trails of Grand Mesa Nordic Council (GMNC) trails atop Grand Mesa in western Colorado, you should! At more than 10,000 feet, the groomed ski trails on Grand Mesa offer early and late season skiing, stretching often past April when the grooming stops and crust skiing begins with 500 square miles of rolling terrain to cruise on. 

The ski instructors of GMNC get to teach the kind of students everyone would want: unassuming locals from all sides of Grand Mesa that appreciate the sport and are in it for the long haul. The teaching environment is just as remarkable, with the PistenBully-groomed trail system winding through rolling vistas and frozen lakes deep inside the quiet wilderness of Grand Mesa National Forest. 

GMNC is a PSIA ski school and this season is bringing you two events with the western flare:

  1. March 21-23: Level 1 Cross Country Prep Clinic and Level 1 Assessment

We invite instructors from the region to come to Grand Mesa for a late-season Level 1 Cross Country Prep Clinic and Assessment. It will be fun and meaningful event. If you come before or stay after the event, you will be rewarded with guided tour of Grand Mesa trail system by GMNC’s ski school director.

  1. April 10-11: Cross Country Spring Fling

Turn the Spring Fling into a vacation. The cross-country Spring Fling is going west this season. There will lots of skiing on groomed trails with a possibility of crust skiing, followed by shorts-and-t-shirt activities down in the Grand Valley, such as, biking (mountain and road), touring the massive Colorado National Monument or exploring the wine country in Palisade. Did you know that the greatest concentration of natural arches outside of Utah is near Grand Junction? Look up Rattlesnake Arches. While in Grand Valley, why not try your biathlon skills? We will take you to one of the best rifle shooting ranges in the U.S. operated by Colorado State Parks.

Check out the PSIA calendar or contact Martin Wiesiolek, GMNC Ski School Director, for details: skischool@gmnc.org or mobile 970-201-8113. PSIA events on Grand Mesa are also listed on gmnc.org/events 

–Martin Wiesiolek lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, and is PSIA-RM Cross Country Trainer and Ski School Director at Grand Mesa Nordic Council

 

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